Implementing the Copyright Directive: A new web resource

The process of reforming copyright in the European Union did not finish with the adoption of Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (CDSM) in April 2019. The CDSM Directive now has to become a part of national laws of all Member States (and EEA countries). They have until 7 June 2021 to transpose the Directive’s provisions.

We have been tracking the complex process of EU law making and providing evidence on copyright in the EU Digital Single Market through our EU Copyright Reform resource page since 2016. Continuing this work, and to provide an independent academic perspective on the transposition of the CDSM Directive, we are today launching a new web resource: Copyright in the Digital Single Market – Implementation.

The CDSM Directive is a complex piece of legislation, 34 pages long. The most contested Art. 17 is introduced by 11 recitals (61-71) and covers in 10 dense sections new obligations by “online content-sharing service providers”, a new class of services that communicate to the public copyright content uploaded by its users. It is therefore very likely that we will see widely diverging implementations, and decades of references to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is already suffering from copyright overload.

Whereas nearly half of the two-year implementation period has passed, most of the Member States are still at the beginning of transposition process. Only France has implemented some of the CDSM Directive provisions, and five other Member States put forward draft implementation bills. However, the current global health situation and the need for financial support of creative industries and press sector have brought about calls to accelerate the Directive’s transposition into national laws.

The Implementation resource tracks national consultations and transpositions of the CDSM Directive, providing links to draft legislation and official communications of national authorities. The gateway is an interactive map, which gives an overview of information gathered in respect of each Member State.

The resource brings together information on academic and stakeholder positions, the Stakeholder Dialogue on Article 17 organised by the European Commission, press reports, as well as judgements of the Court of Justice of the European Union relevant for the implementation process. The ambition is to create a comprehensive and independent resource of information on the transposition of the CDSM Directive.

We worked on this first version of the Implementation resource with the help of a team of contributors, as part of the Horizon 2020 research project reCreating Europe: Rethinking digital copyright law for a culturally diverse, accessible, creative Europe.

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